If the Hat Doesn’t Fit…
The Third Annual Portland Brewer’s Holiday Dash at RiRa was a fun event, in spite of the fact that I was not pulled together at all! It was a bitterly cold day, and after debating about whether to wear a running jacket or not, I opted for a long-sleeved technical shirt, light leggings, gloves and a hat. Two problems: first, my lower arms were freezing throughout the race. I’ve never understood arm warmers till now–they would’ve been perfect! The other issue was my loose Swix hat, which was riding up my head throughout. That kind of distraction is incredibly irritating during a race—the process of pulling the hat back down over my head, my hair falling out of its pony tail…it was driving me around the bend. I have since purchased a smart wool roll down hat at Nomads in Portland (Nomads is a great spot for finding gear). Now that I’m in my second year of running, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the details—both in terms of taking an intentional approach to my form in each run but also in making the right gear choices for each venture. In spite of my hat troubles and the cold, I managed 8:05s–I’m inching closer to my goal of sub-8 minute miles. The dash was an out and back, and just near the turnaround, I heard the sound of jingling bells getting closer and closer. Shortly after, the dj for the post-race party cruised by with a long fabric deer body extending 3 feet out from his back with various bells, ribbons, and hind legs dangling off. Nothing like being reindeered to keep me honest about where I am in my running career! Next race on deck is Jimmy the Greek’s Frozen 4-Miler in Old Orchard Beach. It’s a fun race if you’re looking for something to do!
Every artist knows the pain of killing a piece of art because it’s become overly precious. In the midst of the holiday bustle of the last week, I found a few hours of oasis in my studio. During one of these escapes, I was reminded of something that I regularly tell my students: don’t sacrifice the success of a whole piece for love of a single moment. Over the last few months, I’d been working on a new bird stack drawing. There were a few birds and formal gestures that had become precious to me, yet the piece as a whole wasn’t clicking. I’d become over-attached and had stopped taking risks. Looking at another recent piece—a graphite, gold leaf and oil on paper that I’m really happy with—I realized that I needed to get messy and let go in order for the piece to arrive. At different points in my life, I’ve applied the same lesson—don’t get over-attached; it blurs one’s vision and obscures the path ahead. That’s my post-holiday reminder to myself. A New Year’s resolution in progress!